Ecuador: U.K. guarantees for Assange to leave embassy

Ecuador says conditions have been met for Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange to leave its embassy in London where he has been holed up since 2012

"The way has been cleared for Mr. Assange to take the decision to leave in near-liberty", Moreno told The Telegraph.

That has always been a concern for Assange and those advocating for him, as he could potentially face the death penalty if extradited to the USA for his leak of a huge trove of diplomatic cables in 2010.

President Lenin Moreno said he had "sufficient guarantees" from the United Kingdom that it would not extradite Assange to face the death penalty in another country, and that Assange faced only a brief sentence in the United Kingdom for skipping bail by claiming sanctuary in the embassy.

But nothing is preventing it from extraditing him to the US if prosecutors there were to pledge not to seek the death penalty.

Last month, an inadvertent court filing in a case unrelated to Assange revealed that he has been charged in secret.

Assange's lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, has told Sputnik that his client was ready to surrender to the UK authorities after receiving written guarantees from London that he would not be extradited to the United States or any other country.

Assange could be questioned in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election that brought President Donald Trump to office. He faces charges of espionage, conspiracy, theft of government property, and computer fraud in the U.S., and Donald Trump's administration has stated that the Wikileaks founder's arrest is a top priority.

After having caught up in allegations of sexual harassment in 2010, Assange took asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"The British government sent us an official communication indicating that the constitution of Great Britain bars extradition of a person to a place where his life would be in danger", Moreno said.

"If the British government guarantees his life, I think it's in his best interest to hand himself over to the authorities", Moreno said. Transmitting defense information to be used for injuring the United States can be punishable by death.

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong", said Mr Pollack.

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